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  1. Like
    Albs got a reaction from Anaik in OMSAS Reference   
    As long as one of your references is predominantly focussed on your character (rather than academic) then you should be fine. The titles that your referees hold do not matter, it's their ability to comment on your capacity to work as a physician that counts. 
  2. Like
    Albs reacted to canada747 in How do you study from lecture recordings?   
    I want to begin studying at home and skipping lectures. My university (I'm first-year med) posts the lecture recordings online, so I can review the videos the next day at a faster speed and take more detailed notes I think. How do you take notes when doing so? I've got a hotkey to pause when I miss something, but was wondering if you take notes on the PDF or elsewhere. Do you make flashcards simultaneously? I just need to find a more efficient way to study the material than listening (and missing the profs' details).
    Looking for advice from the Premed101 heavy-hitters, @Bambi @rmorelan @Vendar
  3. Like
    Albs reacted to rmorelan in Desired salary vs work hours   
    you know we have at ton of discussions on the forum about various fields making XYZ doing some particular combination of work etc, etc, but not really enough discussion about this sort of stuff. 
    Money after all is almost completely useless by itself - the very purpose of money is to merely act as an intermediate for something else. The question then is what exactly is that something else? It is almost pathological for people loving staring at a pile of money. It is like staring at the ingredients required to make a cake, and then NEVER actually making the cake so you can enjoy it. Mmmmm cake.  
    In a very real sense in medicine you "buy" vacation and time off just like you buy anything else. You can work almost all the time, and of course the more you make the more you earn. Then you need to spend that money or save it to spend it later but in the end the point is to spend it on something (I am more of the saving camp so at some point I can "buy" the freedom to do whatever I want with my time. My long term freedom is actually what I value the most). What can you buy that gives you the most happiness/well being? That is a personal choice of course and everyone has a different answer.
    So I feel when people just throw around the income numbers and nothing else, I feel there is just 1/2 the picture being used.  Great you have a high income, and it if fair to talk about how to have an high income  - particularly if it is maximizing the income per hour spent getting it, but what is the next step. Without that you miss out of a ton of really good things in life. 
  4. Like
    Albs reacted to Edict in Saudi Arabia to relocate students from Canada   
    I think there will be a big impact in surgical specialties, some programs are losing a huge percentage of their residents. This really isn't a positive thing because there are already issues with finding jobs for grads, if programs decide to increase spots, there could be a huge negative impact on the job market in the coming years. 
  5. Thanks
    Albs got a reaction from kesikan in OMSAS Reference   
    As long as one of your references is predominantly focussed on your character (rather than academic) then you should be fine. The titles that your referees hold do not matter, it's their ability to comment on your capacity to work as a physician that counts. 
  6. Like
    Albs reacted to rmorelan in The Royal College Exam Journey - a pictorial essay   
    ha, it has been 10 years on the forum - kind of scary. The journey is long but in the end worth it I think. Stay frosty and focused people

  7. Like
    Albs reacted to ralk in 2018 CaRMS Match Results - 1st Iteration CMG Competitiveness Statistical Breakdown   
    Didn't see that the CaRMS stats were out until now, a few weeks after the fact, but wanted to get a competitiveness breakdown out there, particularly given the difficulties experienced with this year's match. I've attached the full data set, but wanted to highlight the larger specialties directly here as well as offer a few comments. As always, my preferred metric for competitiveness is the percentage of individuals who rank a specialty first overall who match to that specialty. Those matching to an alternative discipline are also listed, as it provides a sense of how easy it is to back-up to another specialty when shooting for a particular first choice specialty. This metric is not a perfect representation of competitiveness, nor is it the only one available, but given available stats I believe it has the most value to those approaching the match and deciding on their CaRMS strategies. All stats are for the 1st iteration and for CMGs only.
    First Choice Discipline                                     Percent Matching to Discipline                                    Percent Match to Alternative Discipline                                    Percent Unmatched
    Family Medicine                                               96.4%                                                                                 1.0%                                                                                                 2.6%
    Internal Medicine                                             88.9%                                                                                 9.1%                                                                                                 1.9%
    Diagnostic Radiology                                      88.9%                                                                                 6.2%                                                                                                 4.9%
    Psychiatry                                                         85.8%                                                                                 9.0%                                                                                                 5.3%
    Anatomical Pathology                                    84.2%                                                                                 7.9%                                                                                                 7.9%
    Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation              83.9%                                                                                 12.9%                                                                                               3.2%
    Orthopedic Surgery                                         80.4%                                                                                 3.6%                                                                                                 16.1%
    Radiation Oncology                                         77.8%                                                                                 14.8%                                                                                               7.4%
    Pediatrics                                                          77.6%                                                                                 19.9%                                                                                               2.6%
    Neurology                                                          76.4%                                                                                 16.4%                                                                                              7.3%
    Neurosurgery                                                    69.2%                                                                                 11.5%                                                                                              19.2%
    Anesthesiology                                                 68.5%                                                                                 21.2%                                                                                              10.3%
    General Surgery                                                63.6%                                                                                 10.8%                                                                                              25.6%
    Obstetrics and Gynecology                            63.4%                                                                                 28.6%                                                                                               8.0%
    Urology                                                              58.3%                                                                                 25.0%                                                                                               16.7%
    Ophthalmology                                                52.1%                                                                                 29.6%                                                                                               18.3%
    Emergency Medicine                                      50.4%                                                                                 37.4%                                                                                               12.2%
    Otolaryngology                                                47.2%                                                                                 22.6%                                                                                                30.2%
    Dermatology                                                    43.3%                                                                                 48.3%                                                                                                8.3%
    Plastic Surgery                                                34.6%                                                                                 23.1%                                                                                                42.3%
    A few thoughts on these numbers:
    1) Across the board, a competitive year for surgical disciplines. These specialties have slowly been losing residency spots due to their generally poor job markets, but demand seems to have largely stayed put despite this, driving competition up. With over a quarter of people applying to Gen Sx, ENT, and Plastics going outright unmatched in the first round, and over 15% in pretty much all other surgical disciplines speaks to the risks involved going down that career path. To be a surgeon these days, you've got to really want it, and fight for your spot.
    2) By contrast, certain moderate and high competitiveness specialties can be rather safe with an appropriate back-up plan. Derm and OBGYN have overall combined match rates (first choice + alternative) close to the weighted average of all specialties. More people who picked Derm first ended up in a back-up specialty than in Derm itself, a figure fairly consistent with previous years. Part of this may be driven by those with weak interest in the field - say a person who is essentially going for FM but taking a long-shot on a Derm program on the off-chance it works out - but considering that obtaining a Derm interview in the first place isn't a guarantee, I think there's something to be taken away by those specific numbers.
    3) Likewise, two specialties this year had a combined match rate better than FM, generally considered the safe specialty to apply to - namely, IM and Peds. Here I do think individual circumstances play a role that prevents a simple interpretation of these numbers, as those who pick FM first tend to apply less broadly than those going for specialties, and most of those backing up from IM and Peds will end up in FM. Still, there was a growing inclination that Peds and increasingly IM were competitive enough that you had to gun for them like you would a surgical specialty, ignoring a back-up entirely, and I don't think that's true at all. Back-ups remain viable, especially in these specialties, if approached correctly.
    4) Rads continues on the pathway towards non-competitiveness, a journey it's been on in fits and spurts for half a decade now. As someone who gave Rads a good hard look in pre-clerkship without ever really coming around to the field, I'd be very interested in exploring what's driving this trend. My guess is a combination of increasing work requirements, slowly declining incomes (though still exceptionally high, even by doctor standards), and a growing medical student preference for patient contact are the main drivers, but even that seems like it's missing something.
    5) As was already apparent, this was a rough match overall. Too many left without a residency position after the first round and as is now being exposed, medical schools and provincial governments had no real plan to address this. Now that the dust has settled, the last-minute efforts to provide emergency residency spots in Ontario, plus the military opening up additional spots after the match, have helped improve the immediate crisis. Yet, the underlying math of the situation has yet to really change. As we approach the time when the final residency numbers get set, here's hoping some more wiggle room enters the system. While the vast majority of graduating CMGs will have a good outcome, even if nothing changes, that bad outcomes for a small subset are now virtually assured is very concerning. For all those reading, please remember that unmatched CMGs are more than ever victims of circumstance and should not automatically be considered weaker or flawed candidates.
    One mildly frustrating change with the reported stats this year is that CaRMS has not provided the numbers for people who match to a given specialty when it is not their first choice. That makes it harder to identify specialties that are good options to back-up into, though I strongly suspect this continues to be FM and IM.
    Lastly, a few caveats on the data above. First, this works off of first choice rankings, which are not always straight-forward. Some individuals will put a single program in one specialty followed by a ton in a second. Some will want a particular specialty but get no interviews and be left with only their back-up options to rank first. Many will apply in a limited geographic area, or generally utilize a bad match strategy which results in them going unmatched for reasons that have little to do with their chosen specialty's competitiveness. Second, while I have listed all specialties in the excel spreadsheet attached, please interpret the smaller ones with caution. Lots of variability in these specialties year-to-year that make definitive conclusions almost impossible. Finally, some specialties have chosen to offer streams with slight differences from the standard program - such as those with an academic or research focus - that appear as a completely separate CaRMS discipline in the stats. This makes interpretation of these specialties much more complex, as these slightly different streams undoubtedly share the main applicant pool as their main streams. This means if someone wants, say, a Clinician Investigator Program as their first choice but would be perfectly happy with just the normal stream, if they end up matching to that normal stream, they're automatically shown as falling into a "second choice" program, even when they really didn't. This is particularly bothersome for the Public Health programs, which are split between "Public Health and Preventive Medicine" and "Public Health and Preventive Medicine including Family Medicine", but are essentially the same specialty. Same could be said of the lab-based programs, which are shades of the same thing under different names. There's not nearly enough transparency in residency matching and these shenanigans make what little data we have even worse.
    If I've gotten anything wrong with the numbers, please let me know and I'll correct it ASAP. I try to double-check things but something can always slip through and sometimes the source material gets things wrong too.
    CaRMS stats 2018 First Round.xlsx
  8. Like
    Albs reacted to beepboopbot in MD Financial 2018 Backpacks?   
    please anything but the gray
  9. Like
    Albs reacted to Edict in CaRMS 2018 Full Data Reports are out!   
  10. Like
    Albs reacted to Sauna in Med YouTubers   
    I'm probs starting one this Fall
  11. Like
    Albs got a reaction from Anaik in Facebook group chat   
  12. Like
    Albs reacted to jesustakethewheel in Facebook group chat   
    Down!!! But it'll be very hectic with 200 people. We should organize something like a beach day and all hangout!
  13. Like
    Albs got a reaction from Bambi in Make one or more sentences, questionsusing the letters of last word to begin each wor   
    Inherent dishonesty invariably overthrows trust.
  14. Like
    Albs reacted to Distancea in Steps in withdrawing from current undergrad?   
    *Update. Apparently you just don't go back. There are no official steps or things to be taken care of except for requesting your final transcript (which can be done through OMSAS).
  15. Like
    Albs reacted to iluvexcel in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)   
    This was a while ago but posting in case future applicants find it helpful
    Result: Accepted to St. George Campus
    Timestamp: May 8th, around 930am
    GPA: 3.94 (illegible for wGPA)
    MCAT: 520 (130/129/130/131)
    ECs: some casual research, some work in an emergency department (basically scribing), various leadership positions in student organizations, volunteering at a mental health line, worked for my parents' small business and in the hospitality industry for a bit. Overall not that impressive, not that much research, not that much leadership. I avoided getting involved in many clubs in UG since I didn't really resonate with any of them.
    Essays: wrote them the week of, edited them the night before (pulled an all nighter editing/finishing them, finished at around 9am lol). Overall I felt pretty good about them but it could have been the late-night delirium. I focused on clusters for the ABS essays and on storytelling/narration in the question prompt essays. Probably the strongest part of my app, since I was below average for the rest of the criteria.
    Interview: One was really bad, stumbled on an ethical scenario that I couldn't articulate well. One other one went okay, and two I felt went very well. The best advice I received going in was to be an overly-confident, slightly better version of yourself. Interviewed at Mac without this advice (focusing on analysis and question response frameworks instead of who I was) and got wrecked there.
    Year: 3rd year UG 
    Geography: IP 
  16. Like
    Albs reacted to xiphoid in What colour backpacks will next year's class carry?   
    Based on year of matriculation (thanks to a 2013 thread):
    2003 - grey and blue
    2004 - bright blue
    2005 - dark blue
    2006 - grey and blue
    2007 - green
    2008 - bright blue
    2009 - red
    2010 - grey
    2011 - bright blue
    2012 - burgundy
    2013 - traffic cone orange
    2014 - bright green
    2015 - purple
    2016 - turquoise
    2017 - sapphire blue
  17. Like
    Albs reacted to rmorelan in What colour backpacks will next year's class carry?   
    the last class to have it was the fabled class of 2013
    not that I am biased in any way.
    (shocked that wasn't last years colour........someone dropped the ball with the anniversary)
  18. Like
  19. Like
    Albs reacted to iluvexcel in What colour backpacks will next year's class carry?   
    I would kill for a red backpack, sort of like this:

  20. Like
    Albs reacted to GrouchoMarx in CaRMS Preliminary Match Results   
    The Canadian match system has always been a disaster. 
    dont fall victim to it. take the usmles.
    if you need help let me know. i did well on them so my advice may be worthwhile.
  21. Like
    Albs reacted to Edict in CaRMS Preliminary Match Results   
    The usmles are great, i find they really are standard setting and keep you on your toes. The usmles are a good way to consolidate and solidify your learning especially if you are the type who is motivated to study for exams.  
  22. Like
    Albs reacted to Sauna in What is everybody using at med school?   
    I've tried both and found that the iPad Pro has better hardware (Apple Pencil, longer battery, better display) and software (Notability, and although the surface has desktop Microsoft office with full features, I prefer the simpler mobile versions). 
    With the iPad Pro, I was torn between using Notability vs OneNote. Notability has superior annotation, functional auto-sync to pdf, OneNote has better organization, infinite scroll in both x and y planes. So rather than choosing a compromise, I've ended up using both: Notability for in-class notes and OneNote for studying. Let me demonstrate what that looks like:
    Downloading the pdf/lecture file is easier on iPad (vs laptops) because you open it in the browser and tap "Open in Notability". This iniates multiple steps at once; it downloads the file, opens it in Notability, creates a pdf back-up in google drive that gets updated in real time as you take notes. All with one click. After class you get this:

    Then after class, you just tap the share button on the top left corner and with one tap save it in OneNote. Later when you're studying, you'll have room the ability to add additional subpages if necessary (Notability doesn't have this, see example below) and make additional comments/add resources on the side (see example below). You can also still annotate further:

    This system has worked beautifully for me so far. Let me know if you have any questions!
  23. Like
    Albs got a reaction from Anaik in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)   
    Result: Accepted (St George)!
    Timestamp: 9:26 EST May 8, 2018 
    cGPA: 3.94 
    ECs: Diverse and long term
    Essays: Very personal, felt good about them
    Research: 1st author pub, conference presentation, abstracts
    Interview: First station was a little rocky, felt really great about the other three!
  24. Like
    Albs reacted to ArchEnemy in Official May 8 Countdown Thread   
    Hi everyone - just wanted to wish you all the best of luck tomorrow -- from all of us old timers/geezers 
    I still vividly remember the day I received news of my medical school admission. It was one of the happiest days of my life! 
  25. Like
    Albs reacted to PeterPatting in 2018 UofT Interview Video   
    Still can't get over MAM's bit...got me HYPED at my interview lol
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